Skip to content
My husband spent the night with his ex-wife: what should I do?


Dear Newsweek,

I dropped my husband off at his daughter’s one day because he wanted to pick up something he left there, and I was in a hurry to go to a dealership to pick up a part to replace on my sister’s truck which had come loose when we borrowed it.

He wanted me to serve him, but if I had, I would have missed going to the dealership before it closed. I told him I would come back for him.

Since it was my first time going to his daughter’s house, I was having a hard time getting over it, so I called him, and he was rude to me and hung up on me.

A file photo of a couple with a woman looking away, upset, and her husband trying to talk to her.
Inside Creative House/Getty Images

I called her daughter’s phone to try to get directions, but she told me everyone was already asleep – it was 8:30pm on a Saturday. My husband wouldn’t answer my calls, so I asked my sister to try calling.

He wrote back to her, and she let him know that I was waiting for him at a Safeway which was pretty close to where he was. If he came home he had to go and I waited over an hour to come home because he didn’t show up.

He ended up staying there for almost a week and wouldn’t answer his phone most of the time, or if he did he was a total jerk and rude. Later I found out that his ex-wife was also there spending the night. He also blew up his job and lost it as well.

I feel like he ended the marriage by the choices he made and he shouldn’t expect me to want to stay in this relationship. He continues to justify it, claiming that they did nothing wrong. I just want out at this point.

Lonnie, Unknown

“What should I do?” from Newsweek offers expert advice to readers. If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work and your story could be featured on WSID at Newsweek.

You should know that you deserve better than this

Chris Parsons is a marriage coach and author of It Starts With You: The Secret to a Passionate Marriage & Peaceful Home (Even if Your Spouse Doesn’t Want to Change).

The fact that your husband not only made a short-sighted decision for his marriage but also for his job leads me to believe that he might be having a midlife crisis or just self-destructing.

In my experience, this is likely due to deep, unresolved wounds and associated unhappiness, leading to an inability to see a way forward that creates a happy life. It’s quite common when people get all the things they thought would make them happy, but still don’t feel happy.

You need to set healthy boundaries here, know you deserve better, and refuse to be part of self-destructive behavior. The best thing you can do, for him and for yourself, is to tell him that you would like him to receive professional help, without trying to control or force it. If he’s willing to get help from someone who knows how to handle a midlife crisis, there’s hope they can have a happy and healthy marriage.

Be honest with yourself: were there any cracks in your relationship before this?

Krista Rizzo is a relationship coach, expert, and author with over eight years of experience coaching couples.

Without knowing the history of the relationship, I will go on a hunch and say that the relationship from the outside already seems to have cracks. I think the first thing you should do is be honest with yourself.

Relationships don’t ignite overnight, they suffer over time. You have to take a good look at how it got to this point. Talking to a professional or someone you really trust who can be honest with you would be a good place to start.

Emotions are hard to manage in times of stress and turmoil, as most of us know. It’s important to make sure you take care of yourself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I find that when my clients have been through a tough time or even the bottom, it helps to encourage them to focus on their needs by taking care of themselves.

Infidelity – if there has been any – is hard to forgive, but not impossible. Again, this takes work and probably some help. Counseling is a great starting point. If you decide as a couple to try to salvage the relationship, you both need to commit to creating boundaries with the ex. Try to start building trust through communication and be prepared to have uncomfortable conversations.

It can only be saved if both want it saved. And that takes work and commitment. Should we save him? Only you can answer this question.

“What should I do?” from Newsweek brings together experts to advise a reader on a problem they encounter in their personal life. If you have a WSID dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can seek advice from experts and your story could be published on Newsweek.

newsweek

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.